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Big Eddy Imperial IPA - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Eddy Imperial IPABig Eddy Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

123 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 123
Hads: 472
Avg: 3.76
pDev: 30.05%
Wants: 20
Gots: 39 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.20% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBelcher on 03-12-2007

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (49) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 123 | Hads: 472
Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

While waiting for my anniversary growler at Lucky Monk this afternoon, a Leinie's rep offered to buy me a glass of this to enjoy to pass the time. I declined, but it was great to be offered. Good people sometimes... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear sunset amber topped by a finger of off-cream-foam. The nose comprises sharp pine needles, sweet caramel, grapefruit rind, and a hint of alcohol. The taste brings in more of the same, though the grapefruit is a tad brighter. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a lightly sticky finish. Overall, a pretty nice DIPA, nothing truly outstanding, but a definite win for Leinenkugel's.

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Photo of Quackershnoc
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: cloudy, copper color; very warm and rich; white head that dissipates pretty quick but retains a ring
Aroma: really malty; molasses; a bit of hop; hint of apple notes
Taste: molasses/sugary sweetness up front; big bready flavor; a bit of hops; moves into apple-y crispness and then into rich dried, dark fruit (prune and raisin maybe); finishes with a great hoppiness and fig; some alcohol warmth on the back end; finishes pretty dry
Mouthfeel: thick and kind of syrupy; well carbonated
Overall Impression: this is a nice beer; really well balanced; crisp, kind of clean feel; it's got a nice depth and a complexity of flavor to it that continues to develop as you drink it; the dryness welcomes another sip; quite drinkable, but one to sit back and really enjoy

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $3.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

"NOV1912" on the bottle neck. I assume I haven't a second to waste!

Appearance: Pours an amber body with noted clarity underneath a foam layer, slightly yellowed.

Smell: Sugar encrusted toasted bread with floral, orangy notes from the hops (a slight candied, dried apricot fruitiness, too) and a slight whiff of alcohol.

Taste: Toasted, bready malts with a heavy pour of golden syrup and caramel. Large sweetness. Touch of dried apricot. Drizzle of orange oil with some comparatively easy-going resinous, floral qualities. Medium-plus bitterness, some heat from the alcohol. Sweetness slackens some, as does the body past the midway point, taking one an alcoholic sweet tea laced with citrus juice taste until the warming finish. There is a lingering bitterness, but, again, it's comparatively light when set against many IPA's, imperial or otherwise.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Some apparent stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Overall: While not exactly cloying, it's not what many people are looking for from a Double/Imperial India Pale Ale. Sorry, it just isn't.

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Photo of challenja
4.63/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle drank straight from the neck then to the Dogfish Head Pint glass for further inspection.

A: Dark amber orange. Thick cloudy appearance with light carbonation. It has a really nice thin white froth head that is resilient sip after mouthwatering sip. Well done.

S: Brown sugar malts jump off first. Sweet nectarines, blood orange, rose pedals. This is full of sweet hop varietals, 5 in total, with Warrior and Chinook hops springing forth through the crowd. No real trace of pine which you get with almost all double IPA's..strange.. but hey its all good.

T: This is a slightly spicier Lagunitas Brown Sugga clone. This has more malts, spice box, and peppery flourish than most DIPA's. This beer is coated with loads of residual sugar and tangerine fruit.

M: Creamy, smooth, full bodied deliciousness. A really well rounded chewy mouthfeel. NICE

O: This is my second Big Eddy series from Leinenkugel, there other being one of my top 5 stouts Their Oak Barreled Russian Imperial Bourbon Stout, and let me say DAMN GOOD JOB!

nothing else to report but this BUY THIS BEER...put your regular good old boys down and GET THIS NOW... you will thank me and your tastebuds later..

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Photo of raznug
4.04/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It pours a hazy dark orange color and is topped with a thin layer 1/8” of white colored head that lingers.
Smell: The blend of hops in the aroma of this beer is excellent I get pine grass citrus all blended into one delicious sniff. Big Eddy maybe one of the best smelling beers that I can remember.
Taste: The flavor isn’t as distinctive and complex as the aroma but that would be a hard thing to live up to. There is a tasty balance to the flavor that makes it a good IPA just wish that the hops were more prominante.
Mouthfeel: This is on the heavy bodied side to most IPAs but it is still easy drinking without losing any flavor.

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Photo of Gotti311
4.4/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

I feel at this time I can pretty much try any beer without a preconceptions. But I would be lying if there wasn’t something deep in my brain that had some questions before I popped this bottle open.

Any thoughts deep within my subconscious were immediately drowned out by this really amazing offering from Leinies. The nose is a dense cluster of citrus. I have had a few one note citrus IIPA's recently and I crave complexity. The nose has a number of distinct notes, grapefruit, slight orange, and maybe even a more pungent lemon. The smell carries almost perfectly over into the first part of the taste, which is actually pretty rare now that I think about it. Most beers tend to move on to other flavors, but I am glad this one let me really think about that citrusy nose. The flavors hang for some time before a really nice dank mouth rounds out the mouthfeel. God I love dank beers and this one isn't insanely dank, but still very forward.

If I am going to nitpick this brew, I think it could have handled almost a whole extra percent of ABV. I think the bottle said 8.2% and I wouldn’t have minded it sitting in the mid to low 9's. But that is really nitpicking.

Bravo to the brewers up in Chippewa Falls and their Big Eddy Series. Glad the folks down in Milwaukee let you off your leash because you are accomplishing some great things.

A side note - I refuse to rate appearance so every beer gets the same score as overall. Smell and taste are the only things that truly matter when rating a beer.

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Photo of homebrew311
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in Big Eddy snifter. Deep red clear appearance with thin white head. The nose features an onslaught of pine, wood, resin, and grapefruit. Caramel malt backbone present. Taste is very malty with a swift kick of piny grapefruit hops. Lots of flavor, a touch on the boozy side. Mouthfeel is somewhat heavy. Overall, a vey well executed beer by Leinenkugels, too bad this isn't their m.o. Worth a try.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.41/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a clear copper color with a white head on top. The head was white, it had a decent retention and it left a good lacing too. The smell of the beer is more malty than hoppy I think... The taste is moderately hoppy, it's got a bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is oily, it's thick and had a decent carbonation. Overall this beer is decent, it's not quite lively enough for an Imperial IPA. It's drinkable but not the best example of the style out there.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A very dark amber brown/copper with a 1/2 inch of mocha colored head. Like the sticky lacing on this it runs all throughout the pour.

S - Malty, caramel like with a musky grapefruit and a touch of bittering pine.

T - Not as malt forward as I expected yet not a hop bomb. Pleasant malty grapefruit balanced with caramel sweetness and a touch of pine in the finish. Palatable and tasty.

M - Medium bodied yet goes down easy enough.

Overall much better than the RIS and on par with the style like the Wee Heavy. Seems like these guys know what they are doing.

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Photo of KKB
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A – A caramel/orange colored body, light carbonation, with a yellow-white head. Nice looking 1 finger head. Great retention.

S – What a great smelling IPA. The hops smell really wonderful and diverse, there is also a fruity element to this, either a grapefruit or a pineapple.

T – Good, not amazing. Has a nice malty character to it that does not overshadow the hops but contribute to it in a very balanced manner. Both bitter and sweet at the same time. Extremely well-masked alcohol, and overall actually a very well crated IPA. It really gets better as it warms up a little bit too. But like I said, good, not amazing.

M – A nice medium body, with carbonation that lasts the whole way, has a nice mouth-feel.

O – Overall, Big Eddy made a damn fine IPA, very drinkable, very tasty, I would totally buy this again if I saw it.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by Oct 16, 2012 stamped in white on the bottle.

It pours a cloudy colour of rust/orange, with a tiny head of foam but it does leave some lacing behind.

Being close to the best by date, I'm getting a huge blast of caramel malt with light notes of read. No bitterness that reaches my nose buds.

The taste matches the smell. A huge malt presence with just a smallish hint of any hop bitterness. Even when I swish the beer in my mouth, I don't get the, now long faded I guess, hoppiness that's typical of a fresh Imperial IPA. And guess what? I'm DIGGING it! It reminds me of a well made Old Ale/Barleywine.

Close to full bodied, ample carbonation, smooth mouthfeel.

I would have loved to try and review a fresh sample but this, the way it is now, is very satisfying.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of a 4-pack, which I prefer over a bomber, so thank you Leinie's.
I like the hopping in this drink. It's fresh with some fruitiness and some citrus, but balanced out with more grass and herbal notes too. This bottle holds a more resin note, which I didn't notice on my previous bottle and something I can do without, but all in all it isn't too distracting or off-putting. It actually starts to blend into the malt character, which is kinda' nice. A solid but not amazing start.
Looks like a DIPA. Creamy tan head. Cloudy amber color.
Again, a little more resin in the flavor than I recall the first go around. But it fades and blends well. I'm enjoying the malt character of this one. Firm and solid and adding flavor and not just balancing out the hops. The hop flavors are strong and almost intense, but short lived and move quickly to the bitterness, which mimics that experience, but is less intense. The finish is more malt laden and is kinda' sweet. Hop flavors more than bitterness on the gentle ending.
Moderately high feel, but not overly big. Soft and reasonable smooth.
I liked my first bottle more than this one. I'll adjust scores if I find later bottles resemble the earlier one more than this. Temperature may be playing a part as I believe this one may be somewhat warmer. I like the blending and balance. I'm not fond of the resin quality which to me comes off as an unenjoyable aroma and taste.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.16/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Best by Dec. 10, 2012. The beer pours a hazy brown color with a white head. The aroma has some floral notes, as well as some toffee and bread notes. I also get a hint of orange citrus from the hops. The flavor is better than the aroma. I get orange citrus and some pine, as well as a little bit of perfume notes. There is a little bit of bitterness, but the hops mainly come through in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. While the beer was drank within the period set by the best by date, it tastes a bit like it is old, with faded hops.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.05/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light brown and dark copper color, small .3" head on the top of it, off white to light beige. Aroma, actually revealed a heavy malt presence, more than hops, but I should have thought about that possibility when the beer poured into the glass much darker than an imperial ipa should be according to my preferences.

Taste is relatively well balanced, the hops don't scream out at you unfortunately, but it has a thick body, chewy ambiance, adequate hopping to balance all of that out. But I don't really want balance in an imperial ipa, I want hops. The hops here don't really seem to impart much in the way of flavor, just some bitterness that is absorbed by the chunky toffee and caramel interior. Hides the alcohol decently. Good amount of sweetness from all the crystal malt probably.

I dunno, for being hopped 5 times, I would say go back and hop it 12 times then.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz.

Pours a deep amber gold with an off-white film for a head.

Smells of honey, floral and pine hops, and grapefruit.

Tastes of honey, orange citrus, piney hops, grapefruit, and rich bready malts. The hops are flavorful but not overly bitter.

Full, slightly syrupy body with prickly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

This is a really good, flavorful double IPA. Hits all the right notes and is very tasty. Doesn't do anything daring, but does the stuff it's supposed to well. I'd drink this often.

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Photo of 2xHops
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The taste is so average. It actually did taste slightly flat, which brings up freshness issue. However, I have to go with what I have. This review may be adjusted later when I get the most recent batch.

The aroma was slightly off-putting, and it doesn't have the typical IPA aroma. The appearance did seem good with dark copper color. The mouthfeel was fairly decent, but it did taste a bit watery, and not as malty as I'd like it be for an Imperial IPA.

It's not a terrible beer, but with the tough competition out there, it's hard for me justify giving this one higher score. I did like Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout and the Wee Heavy Scotch Ale very much, and I think this IPA is the weakest beer of those three I've tasted.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into snifter

Appearance – Pours a beautiful deep ruby red/deep amber color. Upon pouring there is only a tiny tannish head that forms. The head fades very fast to leave only a lingering film on the top of the brew. Swirling the beer in the snifter shows a very sticky and thick body as it clings to the side of the glass before reseeding back to the pool of beer.

Smell – The aroma is very bready with a strong presence of a caramel sweetness and some roasted aromas. The hop aromas are very light with only a small amount of citrus detected in the nose. Other then the citrus hop is a warming alcohol and dark fruit smell, which give this brew more of a doppelbock aroma then that of an IPA.

Taste – A doughy taste is the first to be detected by the tongue. This is mixed with some sweeter flavors of a caramel. As the taste moves on hop tastes start to work their way in as some of the caramel flavor fades. The hop which are in the taste are largely citrus in nature and arrive with some lighter dark cherry and raisin sweetness. Soon the citrus hop drown out the dark fruits as they become more potent toward the end. At the end a doughy and grapefruit hop are left in the taste, but not without a strong presence of alcohol which when combined with the hop leaves a somewhat burning tingle on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – Quite full bodied with a very chewy feel. The carbonation on this one is rather low. Both the thickness and carbonation are quite fitting for the brew as they allow all the bready, grapefruit and boozy flavors to linger on the tongue and warm you through and through.

Overall – It is a thick and hearty IPA. Definitely a sipping IPA.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep and somewhat murky amber with some ruby red. Lots of bubbles and a big four finger off white head with good retention. Leaves a lot of lacing sticking to the glass.

Smell: Aroma is big on citrus hop esters. Ripe citrus with hints of grapefruit, orange peel, pineapple, mango, apricot, and lemons. Some grassy hops and spicy pine resin. Nice malt scent with a fairly sweet bready presence. Hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, and a little toast. The citrus fruit esters are the dominate note here. Smells big and juicy.

Taste: Like the smell indicates, a big taste of citrus fruit esters with a nice sweet bready backbone. Ripe and bitter citrus hops with big notes of orange, grapefruit, apricot, mango, pineapple, and lemon. Subtle grass and some spicy piney hops. Solid background of sweet malts. Taste of toasted bread, caramel, toffee, and biscuit. Really nice fruit flavors. On the sweeter side for a Imperial IPA.

Mouthfeel: Full body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Rich, juicy, and somewhat sticky and oily. Alcohol is hidden well.

Overall: A pretty good IPA. Veers to the sweeter side but not quite enough to be overly sweet. Nice juicy citrus hop flavors.

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.12/5  rDev -17%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a caramel root beer color, with  a minimal head that falls quickly to almost no head.
Smells slight. Pine at first, then, ? A hint of fruit, maybe.
The taste is a little better (meaning much like the smell). Balanced with the malt, this is a smooth blend of the five hops involved here as according to the bottle's label. And I taste some fruit, but all through the dominant malt as I feared.
A bit tangy, not overly bitter on the finish, but also sour to me.
I doubt I'd revisit this brewery's take on an imperial ipa. Quite a sweet ending finish, but with the malt dominating the hops. The color upon the pour should have told me so. Not a fan as I hoped to be. Am I wrong in expecting a DIPA to cater to hop heads? This may as well have been an attempt at an amber/red ale.

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Photo of IronLover
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best buy Nov 2012. Copper orange in color with a slight haze. Poured with a brief off-white foam that quickly disappeared. Fairly balanced, but intense aromas of caramel malt and ripe citrus hops with earthy, musty pine notes in the background. Slick, oily feel on the tongue as the carbonation pushes upward. Intense caramel malt flavor up front with a spicy hop tanginess. Floral and herbal hop flavors ride the malt wave through the middle with a hint of ripe orange. Hop flavors turn to bitter pine at the finish that lingers for a bit. This should be called an inverted DIPA as the intense maltiness subdues the various hop flavors and characters.

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Photo of russpowell
4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber/orange with 2 fingers of cream colored head. Below average head retention & lacing

S: Pineyness, pineapple, passion fruit, & ruby red grapefruit; stellar nose!

T: Grapefruit, pineyness, pineapple, dryness & a touch of breadyness up front. Big pineyness, grapefruit, a kiss of booze warmth as this beer warms. Finishes grapefruitty, piney, with a bit of pineapple & woody dryness

MF: Medium/heavy bodied, firm carbonation, very good balance

Super DIPA, this blows away every other Leine beer I've ever had by leaps & bounds, well done!

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Look - reddish amber color, with good carbonation and about two fingers' worth of frothy light khaki-colored foam that dissipates somewhat slowly.

Smell - fruity and definitely hoppy smelling. The back end of the taste seems to have some light smell like lemon or lime.

Taste - very much like the smell. It's definitely hoppy, which suits the type, but also has a fruity element that strikes you right at the beginning. The hops take over, and then there's that lighter taste that comes in around the finish.

Mouthfeel - pretty well balanced, not leaning too far on the creamy or watery sides.

Overall - not a bad brew at all, and decently interesting as well.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 release. 12oz bottle, pours copper with stunning clarity, creamy beige head holds good retention and also leaves good lacing down the glass. Aromas are caramel malt, dank hops, seems sweet on the nose. Tastes are sweet caramel, juicy sweetened grapefruit, mild pine, honey. Body is medium with ample carbonation, finishes a little on the sweet side. Overall, not the best DIPA out there, but I did really enjoy this one. I do prefer a bit more pine and bitterness in my DIPA, where this one was more sweet, but it was still good though.

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Photo of bump8628
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The best thing I've had from Leinenkugel. Pours a filtered clear copper with a sticky white head. Herbal and pine hop flavors fight against a firm caramel body. Hops are powerful, but not juicy and vibrant. Bitter at the end, but the malt holds the hop character back a little. Some black pepper and bitter citrus pith add some character as it warms. More of an old school Imperial IPA, a bit more malt-focused than I like in the style, but not to the level of straddling the Barleywine-line. Worth a try for sure.

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Photo of phishsihq
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The brew pours a brilliantly clear auburn color. A cap of thin white head sits atop the brew, and the foam provides plenty of lacing. Sweet and toasty malt aromas fade into a hop bouquet that includes pine resin and white grapefruit. Citrus, floral, and pine flavors converge on the palate before caramel and bready malt hints come in to help balance the brew. Medium in body, Big Eddy Imperial IPA is also medium in carbonation. GREAT beers are made in Wisconsin!


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Big Eddy Imperial IPA from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.